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Right to Buy house sales pass 45,000 in just 4 years

The new version of the governmental Right to Buy scheme has seen 45,000 homes sold to former housing association tenants since its introduction in 2012, according to a report released this week.

The Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG) figures show that 2016 has so far been the most successful year for sales of former council and housing association homes since the boosted discount came into play four years ago.

It said that in the second quarter of this year alone, some 3,362 homes were sold. This was a 21 per cent increase compared to the same period last year, and a higher total than in any three-month period since the scheme's relaunch.

The success of Right to Buy can be seen even more clearly when the figures surrounding sales by stock-transfer housing associations are included. This takes the total up to an impressive 56,000 in the space of just four years.

Right to Buy was first introduced by Margaret Thatcher's government in the 1980s in a bid to get more council tenants onto the housing ladder as homeowners, and, although the original project was hailed as a success, it had essentially died off until being resurrected by the coalition government in 2012.

Housing minister Gavin Barwell said that the latest figures show how Right to Buy has been a success nationwide, helping people across the country get onto the housing ladder, which they would otherwise not be able to do.

“From London to Leeds, Right to Buy plays an important part in building a country that works for everyone, helping thousands of people become homeowners for the first time," he said.

However, sales are not the only factor that needs to be considered when it comes to Right to Buy; it's also vital that councils and housing associations see the homes they sell replaced to help house future tenants.

This is something that has been a sticking point with regards to Right to Buy for some time, but the DCLG figures show that the government is delivering in this regard. Although replacement home numbers were at just 422 for quarter two (down from over 700 three months before), the data indicates that the government remains on track to hit its target of replacing all sold homes within three years.


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